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I’m writing this in the middle of chaos. It’s February, there is an inch of snow on the ground which in Virginia means school has been out all week, and we are moving in a little over two weeks. One thing that Sisters in Sports seem to all have in common is the ability to live in chaos.
This is the first time in twelve years that we are moving locally. It seems insane to move in the middle of winter but when it comes to rentals we jump on them when they open up. Thank God for a month to month lease and a team of coaches and players to help us! Still, I’ve been thinking about our moves over the past years and I have lengthy list of lessons learned from past mistakes. And a few tips to pass along as well.
Great boxes can be found at grocery stores, hospitals, and businesses. There were a few years when I expected our entire more to occur in diaper boxes if the window opened.
You will never have enough boxes.
If you have oddly shaped items such as flat screen TV’s those boxes are worth keeping.
Don’t over fill boxes.
Label with large letters.
Tape boxes up with colored duct tape by room. This might sound crazy but when all the boxes were being pulled off the truck it was great to see the florescent green tape and simply say bedroom.
Your kitchen will take the longest and the most amount of boxes. I’ve found that moving my fragile kitchen items wrapped in bed sheets and towels and packed in suitcases is the most efficient.
Pace yourself and accept help.
When using movers:
Check out the BBB when choosing a mover. Absolutely ask for recommendations from friends and even your husband’s new employer. If you have had a bad experience file a complaint. It’s vital to help our sisters out!
If you have a move that’s paid for by a school or team make sure you get in writing how much they will pay for.
Take pictures of every item you are packing, especially those of high value. I kept my cell phone with me and took pictures along the way.
Check with your insurance company prior to your move to see what is covered and at what cost.
Insist that the moving company come and do an in person room by room walk-through and give you a WRITTEN quote of how much it will cost to move you. An itemized list of the expense breakdown is important too. (We had a mover try to tell us that because our clothes were still in the dresser drawers it would cost more to move. This was after they had told us to leave clothes in the dressers.)
Box up everything. By the end of our move from Illinois to Virginia my mother-in-law was boxing up couch pillows. The movers were trying to pack things for us and charge us along the way. It was chaos.
Keep the inventory lists on you at all times.
Expect that things will break and take pictures as you unpack. By the end of our move from Illinois to Virginia I had an entire box of broken glass. My sets of evens all became odds not to mention the stoneware. Thankfully everything was replaceable and our insurance paid for it all.
Regardless of the written quote expect to pay at least $1000 more than agreed upon.
When moving yourself:
It’s worth the cost to get a moving truck for the day instead of trying to use pickup trucks and SUV’s. The ramp, dollies and space will protect backs and furniture.
Don’t stress about the order. We’ve given ourselves a nice cushion with this move. Although the majority of things will move on the day the Uhaul is reserved for, we’ll take our closets over one at a time. This may mean the majority of our clothes are in one house while our beds are in another, but we can live out of suitcases for a weekend.
If possible, have internet and utilities set up prior to move. This will give the kids something to do when the majority of activity gets going and will allow for people to stay warm or cool depending on the season.
Get a paper copy of all your medical records. Your new doctor will appreciate the access to your records and in the transition if anything happens you don’t have to worry about remembering your medical history for the urgent care.
Change your mailing address online at least a week prior to your move. As you receive your forwarded mail sort through what to cancel and what to keep. The keep pile then gets the address change notifications.
Be patient with unpacking. You don’t need to get pictures on the wall immediately. Sit on the furniture for a few days. Place items around the room that might look nice in there and move them around. The fewer nail holes the better!
Take the time to clean the place you are moving out of thoroughly, or pay someone to do it. It will go a long way towards getting your deposit back if you can wipe out cabinets and appliances.
When it comes to décor I have a theory: Just because it doesn’t fit in this house doesn’t mean it won’t go in the next one. I have a bin of décor that I love that travels with me. Sometimes it sits there for a few years, but I’m always happy I kept my favorite items.
Try to make the move fun. Stop along the way to see the sites if moving far. If moving close let the kids pack their own boxes and pick what will go in their room. On our last move our son was entering first grade. He slept with a very large nerf gun fully loaded for months in the new state. It made him feel safe, and I never would have thought to put nerf guns in the bedroom!